Favorite

A little hope 

Most Americans — make that most of the 57 percent of adults who cared to vote and their children — have been anguished the past week, having lost their sense of safety and belonging and their vision of what their country is. One of the encyclopedic services of the pundit class is to offer healing balm to the despairing, a role I take seriously.

It may not be nearly as bad as you expect.

That is my admonition. Everyone should hold on to that notion of the Trump presidency until it is proven wrong, which could be before this reaches print but maybe not.

Let's start with the immediate problem of the crude reprisals against blacks, immigrant children, gays and girls in schools and on social media starting almost at the tardy bell the morning after the election. It turned out that Star City, Hamburg, Little Rock, Conway, Fayetteville and other Arkansas schools were not alone. It was a national phenomenon. Children were taunted and told to get ready for the Trump train back to Africa or Mexico. I had written on Election Day that people might have more to fear from many Trump followers than from the old billionaire tax scofflaw himself.

True, it is not encouraging that one of Trump's first two hires was the white nationalist icon and sworn enemy of "the political class," Steve Bannon, as his senior policy adviser. Remember, the president is free to ignore his senior adviser. The other hire was Reince Priebus, the Republican chairman and icon of the political class, who will be his chief of staff.

A few hopeful post-election signs: Trump said he was not going to appoint Supreme Court justices committed to rolling back the court's protections for married gays and lesbians. He said he was fine with gay marriage. He is not going to go along with the bathroom foolishness of people who are upset about transgenders using toilets of their choice. He let it be known that he would appoint a gay person to a major position, probably ambassador to the United Nations. A billionaire gay man was one of his biggest boosters.

Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes" asked him about all the taunts and harassment of schoolkids that followed his election. He said he hated to hear it, though he thought it was overblown. Would he publicly denounce the harassment?

"I would say, 'don't do it, that's terrible, 'cause I'm gonna bring this country together,' " he said.

OK, that's not much. President Obama expected Trump would eventually appeal to the country's forlorn minorities and bring the country together. It ought to be done at the foot of the Statue of Liberty and include an appeal to huddled masses yearning to breathe free in one America. It could happen. It could happen.

Trump has already said he would not, after all, expel 12 million immigrants as he first promised but over time maybe 2 million he figured were criminals. Barack Obama has evicted close to 3 million. Instead of a giant wall, Trump expects to erect a wall here and there and maybe fences other places, if he can get the Republican Congress to appropriate the billions for it.

History is replete with presidents who campaigned on one ideology and followed another, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, to mention two. Trump once denounced Reagan for raising the taxes of real-estate tycoons like him and causing the recession of 1990. He lobbied Congress to put his tax breaks back into law.

What is to stop Trump from returning now, as the leader of America, to two of his most passionate goals before he got into the Republican primaries last year: universal health insurance and halting global warming?

When he first started talking about the presidency he said health care for all, something like universal Medicare, would be his main objective. Nothing, he said, is more fundamentally American than seeing that everyone, whatever their resources, got medical care when they needed it. But he swore in the campaign to repeal Obamacare. But will he really end coverage for the 22 million Americans who got health care through Obamacare but who couldn't afford it otherwise? What he needs is to be able to say is that he repealed the law called Obamacare, not that he scrapped its coverage. He said he wanted to keep parts of Obamacare and implied that he would find a way to continue coverage through some device. Mirrors are one way.

During the campaign, Trump said global warming was a hoax perpetrated by China, for what purpose no one knows, and that he would roll back Obama rules that gradually turn the nation away from carbon to clean energy and pull the country out of the global climate treaty. But in November 2009, on the eve of a global climate conference that Obama and Hillary Clinton would be attending, Trump and three of his children signed a full-page ad in the New York Times calling on the president and Congress to pass laws restricting greenhouse-gas emissions to curtail climate change. Here is what they said:

"We support your effort to ensure meaningful and effective measures to control climate change, an immediate challenge facing the United States and the world today. If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet."

With the fate of the planet and not just the votes of conspiracists in his grasp, will he abandon views he so passionately held?

Next, if it not obviously grasping at straws, hope for world affairs and the nuclear codes.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Ernest Dumas

  • Workers stiffed

    How is it going with the great experiment to make the Republican Party the champion of the sons and daughters of toil instead of the oligarchs of wealth and business?
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Coal is over

    The free market's natural search for cheaper and more efficient energy has taken over and even President Trump and a governing party heavily in denial about climate change cannot stop it.
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • Race to kill

    You wonder if Attorney General Leslie Rutledge would be so eager to execute if her grandpa, Leslie Rutledge, who was imprisoned for killing neighbor Joe Beel and mortally wounding his brother Frank, had been sentenced to death in 1952.
    • Apr 6, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Guns, God and gays

    Many more mass shootings like the one last week in Roseburg, Ore., will stain the future and no law will pass that might reduce the carnage. That is not a prediction but a fact of life that is immune even to Hillary Clinton.
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • AEC dumps ALEC

    No matter which side of the battle over global warming you're on, that was blockbuster news last week. No, not the signing of the climate-change treaty that commits all of Earth's 195 nations to lowering their greenhouse-gas emissions and slowing the heating of the planet, but American Electric Power's announcement that it would no longer underwrite efforts to block renewable energy or federal smokestack controls in the United States.
    • Dec 17, 2015
  • No tax help for Trump

    The big conundrum is supposed to be why Donald Trump does so well among white working-class people, particularly men, who do not have a college education.
    • Aug 11, 2016

Most Shared

  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.

Latest in Ernest Dumas

  • Workers stiffed

    How is it going with the great experiment to make the Republican Party the champion of the sons and daughters of toil instead of the oligarchs of wealth and business?
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Coal is over

    The free market's natural search for cheaper and more efficient energy has taken over and even President Trump and a governing party heavily in denial about climate change cannot stop it.
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • Race to kill

    You wonder if Attorney General Leslie Rutledge would be so eager to execute if her grandpa, Leslie Rutledge, who was imprisoned for killing neighbor Joe Beel and mortally wounding his brother Frank, had been sentenced to death in 1952.
    • Apr 6, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Event Calendar

« »

April

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30  

Most Viewed

  • O'Reilly's fall

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make TV stars.
  • Forget the hairdo

    As the 2018 races begin to heat up, we see more and more women running for office. And as more women run, we will see more of the seemingly endless critiques of their appearances.
  • Intracity tourism

    The issues that tug at my heartstrings are neighborhood stigma and neighborhood segregation, which are so prevalent in Little Rock. In my opinion, the solution to those problems is "intracity tourism."
  • Workers stiffed

    How is it going with the great experiment to make the Republican Party the champion of the sons and daughters of toil instead of the oligarchs of wealth and business?

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: O'Reilly's fall

    • O'Reilly should run for president. He's already cleared one major hurdle by proving he's a…

    • on April 27, 2017
  • Re: Intracity tourism

    • I love being a tourist in my own backyard. One of the advantages of being…

    • on April 27, 2017
  • Re: Art bull

    • Well, when the Bull was first put up there, it meant one thing, and that…

    • on April 24, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation